2019 GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE ISSUE BRIEF
At Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), our identity is tied to our communities. We are as central to the way of life in our communities as their way of life is central to us. At the most basic level, fostering constructive relationships with our communities helps enable TCCA to continue operating. We depend upon our communities to provide utilities and infrastructure. In turn, we offer employment opportunities and contribute to economic stability.
“You have to embrace your community and bring value. In turn, the community brings value to you. It includes how you take care of your land, water, animals, employees, and how you treat and invest in community members.”
-Mike McCloskey, Co-Founder and CEO, Select Milk Producers
“Tillamook takes a unique approach to problem solving that involves collaboration with key stakeholders, identification of root causes, and implementation of socially innovative solutions―an approach that has resulted in tremendous success and serves as an example for the industry.”
-Pete Kent, Executive Director, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council
Stewardship Charter: At TCCA, we uphold our tradition of doing things right by committing to a business model rooted in Stewardship. In 2017, we established a board-approved, third-party reviewed Stewardship Charter that defines our vision and our framework. Our Charter is centered on commitments to six key stakeholders, which encompass the issues most important to our business: Thriving Farms, Healthful Cows, Inspired Consumers, Enduring Ecosystems, Fulfilled Employees and Enriched Communities.
We use our Stewardship Charter as the anchor of our Stewardship Management System; that is, we have policies, procedures, documentation, measurement and communication, which cascade from the Stewardship Charter and guide our decision making. Adopting a management system like this is intentional—it ensures we embed our Stewardship commitments across all business functions, not just within our Stewardship Team. It also holds us accountable to our farmers, consumers, suppliers, employees, customers and neighbors. Upholding our Stewardship Charter is one of our five company shared values and one of our four business objectives, or time-bound goals.
One of our Stewardship Charter commitments is to Enriched Communities, with a focus on three key areas: agricultural advocacy, food security and healthful children. To achieve our mission, we invest directly into strategic non-profit partnerships and indirectly through lobbying activities. We seek to understand community need, anticipate and address potential barriers to progress and, working together, we strive to adopt meaningful solutions. Where possible, we provide industry leadership and expertise. This includes advocating for issues material to our business at the local, regional and state level.
Community Enrichment Policy: Our Community Enrichment Policy outlines our commitment to do right by our communities. We endorse and support communities where our consumers, customers, employees, suppliers and owners are located, and who have enthusiastically supported us for more than a century. Donations may take the form of corporate cash contributions, in-kind contributions, product donations, sponsorships, scholarships, employee volunteerism and workplace giving.
Community Enrichment Committee: In 2017, we established a cross-functional Community Enrichment Committee to support our mission. The committee is made of members that represent various functions of the business, including employees and farmer-owners. Each of our operating locations—Tillamook, Boardman and Portland—has a designated Site Champion to represent the local voice. Committee members meet once a month to evaluate donation requests and support those that align with our mission. The committee is typically responsible for supporting more than 250 monetary and in-kind donations each year.
Tillamook Cares Volunteer Program: Our Community Enrichment is strengthened by a culture of volunteerism. All employees are encouraged to participate and volunteer in community events through our formal volunteer program, Tillamook Cares. We offer employees eight hours of paid time each year to support a cause of their choice.
Key Performance Indicators: We present qualitative and quantitative information alongside our financials to our leadership team, executive team and board of directors. We track our community investments in dollars and total hours of employee volunteer participation. In 2019, we invested 4 percent of our profits into the community. Additionally, we volunteered 3,155 hours in the community.
As a farmer-owned cooperative, we care deeply about agriculture. Regardless of size, we believe in supporting and advocating for farmers across the nation. Our new Visitors Center, The Creamery, is promoting farming to over 1.35 million visitors annually from around the state and country. As a farmer-owned cooperative and one of the largest companies in Oregon, we are becoming more active in legislative advocacy for agriculture, rural resilience and natural resources.
To assist with advocacy and education, in 2017, we initiated a new partnership with Crosswater Strategies, a lobbyist firm to represent TCCA’s government affairs agenda at local, regional and state level politics. At the national and global levels, we rely on national trade organizations like National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) to advocate on our behalf.
Girl Scouts Dairy Patch: In 2018, a cross-functional group of TCCA employees partnered with the Oregon Dairy and Nutritional Council and the Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington to develop a first-ever Dairy Patch Program, including the formation of a new dairy curriculum and Girl Scout Dairy Day. Upon completing the patch, young Girl Scouts learn where milk comes from, how it is processed, how dairy provides nutritional benefits and what careers are possible in the industry. Our hope is that this program will be replicated in different regions—advocating for dairy across the nation.
Future Farmers of America (FFA): We have always supported FFA chapters across Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest. In November 2017, we encouraged Tillamook fans to wake up at 4 a.m. on Giving Tuesday to show support for dairy farmers across the nation. For every social media photo or video posted at 4 a.m., we donated $100 to the Tillamook FFA chapter. With support from our fans, we raised $50,000 for the FFA programs, increasing program accessibility for young students in our community.
Tillamook County 4-H Leaders Association: We have a longstanding partnership with the Tillamook 4-H chapter. In addition to our annual monetary and in-kind product donations, TCCA employees volunteer to work alongside 4-H students, parents and leaders at the Tillamook County Fair by scooping ice cream. Since 2010, every dollar raised is donated to 4-H to support their elementary school programs. Each year, we raise about $13,000.
Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT): In 2019, we provided $10,000 in seeding money for a new non-profit, the Oregon Agricultural Trust. This organization OAT partners with Oregon farmers and ranchers to preserve agricultural lands through donation and purchase of working lands easements. These voluntary agreements between a land trust and a landowner remove development rights and aid in succession planning so that farmers can ensure their lands remain in agriculture in perpetuity and can be passed on to future generations.
Every day we aim to connect farmers and food lovers through better-made dairy products. We firmly believe everyone should have access to wholesome food and we remain committed to ending hunger in our state. We are also working to address affordable housing inequalities across the state as housing and food security are closely tied when a family is making budgeting decisions.
Oregon Food Bank: We have an established partnership with the Oregon Food Bank (OFB). Since 2009, we’ve donated over 700,000 pounds of food to those in need. We are also working with the OFB to develop the Food Secure County Pilot, which is a project aimed at identifying the root causes of hunger. We committed $75,000 to cover a full-time equivalent position to conduct this research. The template for this project could be used in other counties in the state. We also provided $49,000 to fund a new truck that distributes food to meal sites and food pantries throughout Tillamook County to ensure that people in all parts of the County have access to food. And, our employees regularly volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank through our Tillamook Cares Volunteer Program.
Community Action Resource Enterprises (C.A.R.E): To address inadequate affordable housing in Tillamook County, we partnered with C.A.R.E. to convene a Tillamook County Housing Task Force with private and public stakeholders. The Task Force researched root causes of insufficient housing opportunities and has since evolved into a Housing Commission that is now working to implement solutions to these root causes. Additionally, in 2017-18, we pledged $70,000 for the “Home for C.A.R.E. Campaign” to secure a permanent facility for the organization and the clients they serve. This ensures that social services, like emergency assistance, homeless services and support for first-time parents, are all housed within the same building.
We are committed to providing children with opportunities they need to be healthful and active because we recognize that empowering and educating youth is key to the health of our future communities.
Tillamook County Wellness: Since 2017, we have partnered with Tillamook County Wellness, a grassroots effort to improve the community through the health of its residents. TCCA employees serve on multiple committees for the organization, including the Advisory Council, Health Promotions Committee and Workplace Wellness Committee which are all supercharged to perpetuate wellness in our community. The organization won the 2018 Outstanding Organizational Leadership Award from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention (HPCDP).
Scholarships: We want to ensure that every student has equal opportunity to learn. Each year, we donate approximately $25,000 in scholarships for students throughout Oregon. We also provided funding for a new SMART reading program along the coast.
Schools and Youth Sports: We work closely with school leadership to understand classroom needs and provide support. In 2018, we donated $25,000 to fund a new track and field for Riverside High School in Boardman, Oregon. We hosted a free soccer clinic with the Portland Thorns for young athletes in Tillamook County. We later partnered with the Oregon Coast Futbol Club, a local soccer program, and donated funds for new uniforms, new fields, equipment, and program fees.
Schools and Youth Sports: We work closely with school leadership to understand classroom needs and provide support. While Boardman, Oregon lies over 200 miles from Tillamook County, the community became part of our family twenty years ago with the addition of our second TCCA cheesemaking plant. In 2019, we took a grassroots approach to our community enrichment efforts in Boardman, repairing the greenway, funding new classroom chairs for students with disabilities, and distributing 100 new winter coats. We also helped decorate the city for the holidays and participated in local parades.
In the last five years, we have received the following recognition for our work:
Outstanding Community Impact Award (2018) from the Innovation Center for US Dairy - This national organization is dedicated to the continued advancement of the dairy industry.
Association for Fundraising Professionals (2019) Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation.
Corporate Donor of the Month (2018, 2019), Oregon Food Bank
Innovation in Corporate Philanthropy (2016), Portland Business Journal
U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
End Poverty in All Its Forms Everywhere
TCCA Community Enrichment program offers significant financial support to many causes that support people in poverty, including food bank donations, health initiatives, youth sports, and addressing affordable housing.
End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition, and Promote Sustainable Agriculture
Our longstanding partnership with the Oregon Food Bank is a testament to our commitment to address and solve for food insecurity.
Ensure Inclusive and Quality Education for All and Promote Lifelong Learning Agriculture
As part of our commitment to healthful children, we provide approximately $25,000 in scholarships to students throughout Oregon.
Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Employment, and Decent Work for All
As a cooperative, we invest TCCA earnings in three ways: into farmer-owners’ pockets, into the business, and into our communities. In 2019, 4 percent of earnings were invested into our communities.
Our 2019 Stewardship Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option.
Commitments to stewardship
Other Ways we’re doing Dairy right
- Thriving FarmsHelping farmers to be more efficient, economically sound and viable for generations.View Commitment
- Healthful CowsCommitting to keep our cows healthful, comfortable, and productive.View Commitment
- Inspired ConsumersDemanding a higher standard of excellence for great tasting products that consumers love.View Commitment
- Enduring EcosystemsConserving air, land and water, while reducing energy and waste on farms, in facilities and across our truck fleet.View Commitment
- Fulfilled EmployeesFostering a culture that’s enriching and fulfilling for all of our employees.View Commitment
- Enriched CommunitiesStrengthening communities with agricultural advocacy, food security and healthful children.View Commitment